Current Affairs Update – 4 July, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 4 July, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming IBPS PO, IBPS RRB, NABARD Grade A & Other Exams.

Banking & Financial News
RBI to issue Rs. 200 notes in coming months

  • The Reserve Bank is expected to
    introduce Rs. 200 notes in the coming months to ease pressure on
    lower—denomination currencies that are in short supply.
  • The new notes of Rs. 200 should
    be out before the end of 2017 and will greatly help in narrowing the demand and
    supply gap in smaller—denomination currency bills, sources said.
  • They also said that there is no
    immediate plan to re-introduce Rs. 1,000 notes.
  • Last year in November, the
    government had demonetised the old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
  • Soon, a notification may be
    issued by the Reserve Bank of India with regard to issuance of new Rs. 200
    bills.
  • This exercise of printing Rs. 200
    denomination notes is being undertaken to further improve the currency
    situation in the country, sources said, adding the problem people are facing
    due to high-value Rs. 2,000 notes would also be taken care of with the
    circulation of Rs. 200 notes.
  • The central bank had reportedly
    decided to bring in Rs. 200 notes in March after consulting the finance
    ministry, they said. The notes are going through multiple checks for security
    and quality at government printing presses.
  • The shortage of currency notes
    was trigged by the scrapping of high-denomination bills last year.
  • In a surprise announcement, Prime
    Minister Narendra Modi announced scrapping of old notes of Rs. 1,000 and Rs.
    500 notes, wiping out over 85 per cent of the cash in circulation.
  • The move was aimed at checking black
    money, counterfeit notes and terror financing.
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan
    Yojana (PMGKY) launched following the closure of 50—day demonetisation period
    did not draw a good response with only Rs. 5,000 crore unaccounted income being
    declared under the amnesty scheme.

Adventz Group’s Texmaco signs $2-bn MoU for Israel light rail
  • Indian conglomerate Adventz Group
    has signed a $2-billion-plus memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel’s
    Lesico group to collaborate in the light rail transit (LRT) projects in Tel
    Aviv and Jerusalem. The announcement came on Tuesday against the backdrop of
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit of Israel.
  • The historic visit – the first by
    an Indian prime minister – is seen as a watermark in deepening economic and
    trade relationships between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
  • The MoU between Lesico and
    Adventz Group, under which the latter’s group company Texmaco Rail &
    Engineering Ltd will lend its exeprtise in building the Tel Aviv Metropolitan
    Area Mass-Transit System, will be a first for an Indian conglomerate.
  • Texmaco’s role will involve
    laying of tracks, installation of signalling, electrification, power
    sub-stations, and command, control & communication equipment.

Free GST Facilitation Centres set up across Goa
  • In Goa, the Office of the
    Commissioner of Commercial Taxes has set up GST facilitation centres in ward
    offices across the state and at the department’s head office in Panaji.
  • The Department of Information and
    Publicity stated in a release that trained help desk personnel have been
    appointed for each ward and the head office to assist taxpayers in resolving
    their technical issues related to migration to GST, registration, amendments,
    return filing and payments.
  • The release further read that
    select chartered accountants will provide free consultation services related to
    GST between 4-6 pm till the 10 July.
  • The Government has identified
    some Chartered Accountants for this work and the fees of the identified CA’s
    would be paid by the government itself. The accountants would give free advice
    or consultation to the taxpayers on the implementation of the landmark Goods
    and Service Tax system.
  • Besides the Ward Office, the
    facility will also be available at the Commercial Tax Ward Offices in Panaji,
    Margao, Mapusa, Ponda and Vasco.
  • All Dealers, Trade and Industry,
    Tax Practitioners and other stakeholders would be requested to avail this
    facility and get advice and opinions of the Chartered Accountants on any doubts
    or issues they have related to the new taxation system.

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Government listed 22 products for physically challenged persons at
concessional GST rate of 5%
Union Government on 4 July 2017
explained about the GST rates which were fixed for specific devices for
physically challenged persons. In its explanation, it listed 22 products or
devices for physically challenged persons that will attract a concessional GST
rate of five per cent only.
These 22 items have been kept at
the concessional 5 per cent GST rate. Assistive devices and rehabilitation aids
for physically challenged persons are listed below
  • Braille
    writers and braille writing instruments
  • Handwriting
    equipment like Braille Frames, Slates, Writing Guides, Script Writing Guides,
    Styli, Braille Erasers
  • Canes,
    Electronic aids like the Sonic Guide
  • Optical,
    Environmental Sensors
  • Arithmetic
    aids like the Taylor Frame (arithmetic and algebra types), Cubarythm, Speaking
    or Braille calculator;
  • Geometrical
    aids like Combined Graph and Mathematical Demonstration Board, Braille
    Protractors, Scales, Compasses and Spar Wheels
  • Electronic
    measuring equipment such as Calipers, Micrometers, Comparators, Gauges, Gauge
    Block Levels, Rules, Rulers and Yardsticks
  • Drafting,
    Drawing Aids, Tactile Displays
  • Specially
    adapted Clocks and Watches
  • Orthopaedic appliances
    falling under heading No.90.21 of the First Schedule
  • Wheel Chairs
    falling under heading No.87.13 of the First Schedule
  • Artificial
    electronic larynx and spares thereof
  • Artificial
    electronic ear (Cochlear implant)
  • Talking books
    (in the form of cassettes, discs or other sound reproductions) and large-print
    books, braille embossers, talking calculators, talking thermometers
  • Equipment for
    the mechanical or the computerized production of braille and recorded material
    such as braille computer terminals and displays, electronic braille, transfer
    and pressing machines and stereo typing machines
  • Braille Paper
  • All tangible
    appliances including articles, instruments, apparatus, specially designed for
    use by the blind
  • Aids for improving
    mobility of the blind such as electronic orientation and obstacle detecting
    appliance and white canes
  • Technical aids
    for education, rehabilitation, vocational training and employment of the blind
    such as Braille typewriters, braille watches, teaching and learning aids, games
    and other instruments and vocational aids specifically adapted for use of the
    blind
  • Assistive
    listening devices, audiometers
  • External
    catheters, special jelly cushions to prevent bed sores, stair lift, and urine
    collection bags
  • Instruments
    and implants for severely physically handicapped patients and joints
    replacement and spinal instruments and implants including bone cement.

  • In its notification, the Ministry
    of Finance said, “Most of the inputs and raw materials for the manufacture of
    these assistive devices/equipment attract 18% GST. The concessional 5% GST rate
    on these devices/equipment would enable their domestic manufacturers to avail
    Input Tax Credit of GST paid on their inputs and raw materials.”
  • Further, the GST law provides for
    the refund of accumulated Input Tax Credit, in cases, where the GST rate of
    output supply is lower than the GST rate on inputs used for their
    manufacture.  Therefore, 5% GST rate on these
    devices/equipment would enable their domestic manufacturers to claim the refund
    of any accumulated Input Tax Credit. 
    That being so, the 5% concessional GST rate on these devices/equipment
    would result in a reduction of the cost of domestically manufactured goods, as
    compared to the pre-GST regime.

Infosys Finacle ties up with Singapore firm Active.AI for artificial
intelligence in banking services

  • Infosys Finacle, part of
    Infosys-owned subsidiary EdgeVerve Systems, on Tuesday announced a partnership
    with Singapore-based fin-tech company Active.AI to offer enterprise Artificial
    Intelligence (AI)-based platform for banks globally.
  • The platform, in integration with
    Finacle, will help financial institutions offer conversational banking services
    through chat and voice-based interfaces across their digital channels. The
    joint solution will use AI to better understand customer interactions across
    channels.
  • With this, the end customers will
    be able to interact with software bots in natural language through voice and
    chat interface to access account information, pay bills, make transfers and
    access several other banking services.The solution will be available in
    multiple languages and will be offered through Finacle digital channels
    solutions such as Finacle Online Banking and Finacle Mobile Banking.

Reliance Jio launches world’s longest submarine cable system

  • Reliance Jio on 29 June 2017
    announced the launch of the Asia-Africa-Europe (AAE-1) submarine cable system.
    AAE-1 is claimed to be the world’s longest 100Gbps technology-based submarine
    system.
  • The cable will stretch from
    Marseille in France to Hong Kong, covering 25000 km. It will have 21 cable
    landings across Asia and Europe.
  • The project is a combination of
    leading telecom service providers from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It
    will feature diversified Points of Presence (PoP) in Asia (Hong Kong and
    Singapore) with three onward connectivity options in Europe (France, Italy and
    Greece).
  • AAE-1 will help cater to the
    increasing demand for video centric data in India and other regions.
  • The cable system will pass
    through critical hubs, serving the demand for video centric data bandwidth that
    supports all types of communications, applications and content within India and
    beyond.
  • It will also seamlessly link with
    other cable systems and fibre networks to deliver direct access to all global
    markets.
  • The cable system will come with
    100Gbps transmission technology and a minimum design capacity of 40 Tbps.
  • Its advanced design and route
    will offer one of the lowest latency routes between Hong Kong, India, Middle
    East and Europe.

News related to India & States
Manipur government declares flood situation a ‘State Calamity’

  • An emergency review meeting held
    on 3 July 2017 to assess the flood situation in Manipur decided to declare the
    present disaster as a ‘State Calamity.’
  • The meeting, chaired by Chief
    Minister N Biren Singh, was held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. It was
    attended by Irrigation & Flood Control Department (IFCD) Minister Letpao
    Haokip, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam, Chief Secretary O. Nabakishore,
    Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Commissioners, DCs and
    Directors of different Departments.
  • The meeting was called due to the
    worsening of the flood situation in many localities of the state. The decision
    was brought upon after thoroughly reviewing the reports presented by the
    concerned officials and DCs.
  • Besides this, Biren Singh also
    informed at the meeting that he has requested the Central Government to declare
    Manipur’s flood situation as a calamity of ‘severe nature’.

PM Modi embarks on his two-nation tour to Israel and Germany

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4
    July 2017 embarked on a two-nation tour to Israel and Germany. On the first leg
    of his visit, Modi will go to Israel on three-day tour where he will hold talks
    with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on all matters of mutual
    interest.
  • Modi is the first Indian Prime
    Minister to ever visit the country.
  • In a Facebook message, Modi said,
    both leaders will also discuss major common challenges like terrorism. Modi
    said, as the first Indian Prime Minister to visit that country, he will engage
    with a cross section of Israeli society.
  • The Prime Minister said he is
    looking forward to interacting with the large vibrant Indian diaspora in Israel
    that represents an enduring link between the two countries. Modi will also call
    on President Reuven Rivlin.
  • Indian Ambassador to Israel Pavan
    Kapoor said Modi’s visit will strengthen the relations between the two
    countries.
  • Kapoor said the discussions
    between the two Prime Ministers will focus on agriculture, water management,
    defence, science, technology and space. Agreements on cybersecurity, science
    and technology and space are expected to be signed during the visit.
  • The Prime Minister, in Israel,
    will also attend a CEO forum in which CEOs of companies from both the nations
    will participate to discuss their shared priority of expanding the bilateral
    trade and investment.

Law Commission recommends compulsory registration of marriages,
defaulters to be fined
  • The Law commission of India
    recommended the compulsory registration of marriage in its 270th Report called
    ‘Compulsory Registration of Marriages’ submitted to the Government under the
    Chairmanship of Dr. Justice B S Chauhan.
  • The Report starts by recognizing
    that notwithstanding endeavors from all divisions, the general public is still
    tormented with social indecencies, for example, polygamy, child marriage and
    gender violence.
  • During the UPA Government’s 2nd
    term, the Rajya Sabha had passed an amendment to make  marriage registrationnecessary under the
    Registration of Births and Deaths Act, 1969.
  • The Bill, notwithstanding,
    couldn’t be passed by the Lok Sabha, and later,lapsed.
  • Subsequently, in 2014 the same
    bill was supported by law minister in this present NDA government.
  • Therefore, it is being circulated
    that the present government is in favour of these recommendation, and they may
    bring and introduce this bill again freshly.

Appointments
Natarajan Chandrasekaran named Chairman of Tata Global Beverages

  • Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL)
    on 3 July 2017 appointed Tata Sons head Natarajan Chandrasekaran as its
    Chairman with immediate effect.
  • The TGBL board approved the
    “appointment of N. Chandrasekaran as an additional director and as
    chairman of the board of the company in place of Harish Bhat who expressed a
    desire to step down as chairman.”
  • The board also appointed Siraj
    Azmat Chaudhry as a Non-Executive Independent Director in the company.

Former French judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel to lead UN Syria war crimes
probe
  • The United Nations
    Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 3 July 2017 appointed a French legal
    expert and former judge Catherine Marchi-Uhel as the head of the independent
    panel to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for
    most serious violations of international law in Syria.
  • Marchi-Uhel is the first Head of
    the Mechanism.
  • The former judge has been serving
    as the ombudsperson for the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions
    against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) group and
    al-Qaeda.

Awards & Honors
Indian-Americans Shantanu Narayen and Vivek Murthy to be honoured with
Great Immigrants Award

  • Two Indian-Americans, Adobe Chief
    Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, are among 38
    immigrants to be honoured with the Great Immigrants Award.
  • They will be honoured for their
    role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy on 4 July
    2017, the Independence Day of the United States of America.
  • Among other honourees include
    Canadian-origin social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, who has been awarded the 2017
    Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, PayPal cofounder of Ukrainian origin Max
    Levchin, Iranian-origin philanthropist and entrepreneur Hushang Ansary.

World News
WHO declares end to Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo
  • The World Health Organization
    (WHO) on 2 July 2017 declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola
    Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • The announcement comes 42 days
    after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uélé province that
    tested negative for the disease for the second time.
  • Though the agency marks an end to
    the outbreak in the country, enhanced surveillance will continue, as well as
    strengthening of preparedness and readiness for Ebola outbreaks.
  • On 11 May 2017, WHO was notified
    by the Ministry of Public Health of the virus among a cluster of undiagnosed
    illnesses and deaths with haemorrhagic signs in Likati Health Zone. It was the
    country’s eighth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country
    in 1976. 

NASA developing first planetary defence mechanism

  • NASA is developing the first-ever
    mission that will work as a planetary defence mechanism against potential
    cosmic body impacts in the future.
  • The mission, The Double Asteroid
    Redirection Test (DART), is being designed, built and managed by the John
    Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The mission has moved from concept
    development to preliminary design phase, following NASA’s approval on 23 June
    2017.
  • It is the first-ever design that
    will have the capability of deflecting a near-Earth asteroid.
  • It would demonstrate the kinetic
    impactor technique by knocking the hazardous object into a different flight
    path that would not threaten the planet
  • The approval by NASA advances the
    project towards a historic test with a non-threatening small asteroid.
  • The target for DART would be an
    asteroid that will have a distant approach to Earth in October 2022 and then
    again in 2024.

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